Climate takes heavy toll

GLOBAL mass extinction due to extreme climate change is imminent and we are certainly not ready, scientists warn.

The first half of this year was a turbulent, with many extreme, unusual and unpredictable climate disasters, which cost more than US $ 30 billion (Bt979 billion). The global intellectual community, however, warns that things can get worse if we do not stop the increase in greenhouse gases.

This year it was hit by a number of serious disasters, ranging from the powerful blizzard and cyclone that hit the east coast of the United States to the extreme heat wave in Europe.

The impact of extreme weather conditions is also felt in Southeast Asia and Thailand, such as storms and heavy rainfall have flooded this monsoon and dams have burst in many parts of the region. Nevertheless, some provinces in the northeast of Thailand suffer from drought.

Seri Suparathit, director of the Center of Global Warming and Natural Disasters at Rangsit University, said that these extreme weather conditions were the result of climate change.

"A higher temperature increases the humidity in the atmosphere and contributes to more precipitation in many parts of the world, so the floods this year in the north, northeast and west of Thailand are undoubtedly caused by climate change," Seri said. .

"Climate change also contributes to more dry weather in some parts of the world, so that some provinces in the Northeast have kept this monsoon dry."

He also warned of more frequent and serious hydrological disasters in the future, and said that major floods such as those in 2011 or droughts of 2013 will return to Thailand every decade instead of every 50 years.

"Due to the changing weather conditions, Thailand will switch to a dry phase in the second half of this year, and this will continue until 2020," he said.

"According to estimates, a severe drought is expected in the dry season of 2020, so we need to carefully plan our water management and take preliminary measures."

According to analysis conducted by NatCatSERVICE, the German insurance company München Re, the first six months of this year, about 430 natural disasters took place, which cost about $ 33 billion in financial losses and killed more than 3,000 people.

Petra Law, who oversees NatCatSERVICE, said losses in the first half of the year were mainly caused by geophysical, meteorological, hydrological and climatic events, as data show that meteorological disasters accounted for 76 percent in the first six months of 2018 of all natural disasters. This is almost double the average level of extreme weather conditions from 1980 to 2017.

Scientists warned, however, that the extreme weather conditions in the first half of this year will be miniscule compared to the more deadly and irreversible catastrophes of the "Hothouse Earth" caused by the continued emission of greenhouse gases, which will unleash enormous methane released by permafrost and under the ocean.

According to the article "Earth-based trajectories in the anthropocene" published by PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA), humanity may experience massive, abrupt and disruptive effects of a greenhouse earth unless greenhouse gases are stabilized and maintained in a global effort.

The authors of this article warned that the socio-economic power of human society has already changed the climate system in conditions that go beyond the previous interglacial conditions that are driving the world on the path of runaway climate change.

Earlier this month, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) published the study on the effects of climate change on the Arctic-Boreal Vulnerability Experiment Project, which discovered that the fuse of the climate-time bomb is already ignited, because methane is released during thawing Arctic permafrost detected.

The study found that despite the fact that methane release was slow, but considering the trajectory of the warming climate, large quantities of methane are expected to be released into the atmosphere within a few decades and the global climate will warm up considerably.

Louis Lebel, founder of the unit for social and environmental research at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Chiang Mai, also warned that mass extinction is a possible outcome of the continuing failure to stop the emission of greenhouse gases.

"Emissions so far have forced us to become a much warmer world for centuries, even if we would quickly bring them down to zero, and there's really not much sign of it happening, I'm afraid we're not ready for a post yet. -carbon lifestyle, "said Lebel.

At present, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has already reached more than 400 parts per million (ppm), exceeding the safe level of carbon dioxide concentration in the air at 350 ppm, so that the temperature on Earth will not exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius. and minimizing the risk of inducing runaway climate change.

However, human activities continue to emit CO2 into the air and increase the annual CO2 concentration of the growth rate by 2.19 ppm per year.

This is the second report on the series "Change the climate"

This is the first report: A wave of coal use that counteracts efforts in the area of ​​climate change

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